All partners logo eng

Harbor Research (2018), Smart Systems and IoT Growth Themes to Watch in 2018

Bibliographic details:

Harbor Research (2018), Smart Systems and IoT Growth Themes to Watch in 2018,


To stay competitive, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will need to sustain momentum while developing new technology capabilities, customer offerings, and business models.  Across diverse vertical industry segments, OEMs are becoming the “interpreters” and vertically skilled “translators” of digital and Internet of Things technologies in customer operations.  While we strongly believe Smart Systems and IoT technologies will play a central role in OEM strategy going forward, we have also observed the challenges many OEM’s have faced learning how to integrate new technologies into their core business.

Traditional management in many OEM businesses tends to assume that, whatever the OEM’s focus, their business and their peer OEMs share similar characteristics, organization structures, product development protocols and sales and marketing practices. Management attention in OEM businesses has traditionally focused on the known, the visible, and the predictable.  Anything too difficult to measure is too often treated as if it were unreal.

Even more misleading is the assumption that “business as usual” will prevail over a given planning period. Such assumptions leave little room for dynamic management (or creation) of change, the early identification of emerging markets or technical discontinuities, or the increased presence of unfamiliar competitors.  Traditional planning processes, with their linear view and built-in bias towards the established and predictable, will fail to prepare OEMs for the significant changes coming.

OEMs will need to be better at spotting emergent trends and being able to quickly respond to new market entrants with new technologies or evolving competitive threats. What growth themes should OEMs be focused on in the coming years?.